Bulgarian Govt Repeals Outrageous Construction Permit for Protected Area
A decision of Bulgaria's Directorate for National Construction Control has repealed a permit issued for residential construction in a protected area with sand dunes on the Black Sea coast near the top resort of Nessebar.
The repeal of the construction permit, which comes after a public outrage in the social media, was announced Friday by Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development Lilyana Pavlova.
Pavlova technically presented the results from an inspection of the Directorate for National Construction Control regarding the construction permit issued for construction in the Kokola area, Cherno More quarter, town of Nessebar.
The construction permit included the first four stages of a total of 11 stages of construction in the protected area. It provided for the construction of 122 residential buildings.
Earlier on Friday, it became clear that the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office started a probe into the case with the construction in the sand dunes area near Nessebar, which, at the request of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, will include the period from January 1 till December 31, 2012.
Borisov is also reported to have ordered Bulgaria's Ministers of Regional Development, Agriculture, and Environment to update the Forestry Act, the Environmental Protection Act, the Biological Diversity Act, and the Black Sea Coast Organization Act "so that such deals and construction projects couldn't be allowed."
Friday morning Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov visited the area near Nessebar, and shocked the public by stating that he was going to ask experts on their position on whether the protected area in question actually consisted of sand dunes.
The scandal with the 29 decares of protected area between Ravda and Nessebar on the Black Sea coast erupted in the last days of 2012 when environmentalists said that the area was part of the Aheloy-Ravda-Nessebar protected area from the Natura 2000.
As a result, it became clear that the area was sold without a tender based on an older law that was in force until 2010. The law technically does not provide any way of selling state land without tenders but it said it allowed procedures that started under the older law to be completed under the older law.
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